California, Here I Am! This terrific Benoit Photo of Curlin de-vanning resides at www.oaktreeracing.com.
He's the Number One horse in the world. He's won on dirt on a half dozen tracks on two continents. He's trained and raced on grass. But how will be like the fake stuff under his toes?
Curlin arrived in Arcadia, California, just hours after winning the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup on real dirt at New York's Belmont Park. He has three and a half weeks to get used to training over the Santa Anita artificial surface, which is a dark-colored Australian-enhanced secret recipe of a surface called Pro Ride.
And if he likes it, he'll run in the $5 Million Breeders Cup Classic on Saturday, October 25. It will be the biggest and best thing for horse racing in years, since three-year-old champion Big Brown is also expected to run in that race.
A week ago, Curlin was half hidden in a barn near Saratoga's famed Oklahoma training track, widely regarded as an ideal and safe surface for training. He was vanned down to Long Island, ran his race, and then was vanned to the airport for his charter flight west, with a stopover in Louisville, where fellow Breeders Cup contender Student Council joined the flight.
A piece of cake for a horse that has flown to Dubai twice!
The 4-year-old colt by Smart Strike landed at Ontario/Los Angeles International airport and was then vanned to Santa Anita, where Curlin will reside at Barn 27.
The weather in the Los Angeles area has been very hot and the new track has been harrowed more often, in response to comments from jockeys that the heat was making it loose.
Watch for lots more news on the Curlin-Big Brown rivalry this month! Plan to be in front of a big television on Saturday, October 25th!
By the way, Curlin has his own web site at www.gocurlin.com.
Just for fun: Big Brown and Curlin insult each other in this video gem from our friends at YouTube.com: